Posts Tagged: The Guardian

The Flippy Genius of Moebius

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In memory of Dieter Moebius who passed away last week, the Guardian published an article tracing the artist’s immense influence on experimental music, from his work in Cluster and Harmonia through his solo projects. “‘I was more of the ‘flippy’ one,’ he joked when I interviewed him for Frieze in 2012,” writes the author of the piece.

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Does Age Matter?

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With the publication of several new young adult novels by teen authors, Julia Eccleshare wonders if age impacts a novelist’s ability to connect with younger readers. In addition, Eccleshare returns to the origins of the young adult genre, and investigates the influence of popular works by John Green, Judy Blume, and Beverly Cleary.

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The Politics of the Bride Body

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Lindy West on what it was like being a fat bride, and the public politics of private acts:

But “beauty” is a fraught concept. There’s an awkward three-way tension between wedding culture and feminism and fat acceptance – because of what “acceptance” demands of women in our culture, a lot of fat activism takes the form of fat women trying to “prove” that they can wear the trappings of male fantasy and traditional gender roles just as well as thin women.

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Word of the Day: Virago

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(n.); manlike or heroic woman; a woman of extraordinary stature, strength and courage; a domineering, violent or bad-tempered woman

“I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.”

–Alan Moore

This week’s word is a mixed bag of meaning: is this virago a female warrior of extraordinary power, or is she just in a particularly bad mood?

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Looking Back on Frank Herbert’s Dune

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The idea for the novel Dune evolved from a magazine article Frank Herbert began researching about the government’s efforts to stabilize shifting sand dunes on Oregon’s coast in 1959. At the Guardian, Hari Kunzru looks at how the science fiction novel changed the world:

Though Dune won the Nebula and Hugo awards, the two most prestigious science fiction prizes, it was not an overnight commercial success.

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The Gods of Southern Gothic

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At the Guardian, author M.O. Walsh tries to account for the global popularity of southern gothic literature. While he attributes much of southern gothic literature’s success to a tradition of oral storytelling, he also suggests that it is the southern novelist’s ability to treat the “grotesque” with empathy that helps to create memorable characters:

Show me a southern gothic novel written by someone who’s not from the south and the odds are that I’ll show you a bad novel.

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How to Chart a Course Through the Metaphors in Your Mind

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Why do we refer to our minds in terms of seas and cartography, anyway? Find out by consulting your sextant and the first online metaphor map. The chart boasts over 14,000 metaphorical connections, sourced from 4,000,000 lexical data points by a few Scottish researchers who now (presumably) have some excellent new phrases for spinning yarns and embroidering thoughts at dinner parties.

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Keep It Simple

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Recently, several novelists have criticized the primary curriculum in the UK for teaching a brand of creative writing that is too “complex.” For the Guardian, Ella Slater explains why she agrees with such criticism, arguing that her primary education has made writing simple and direct prose difficult:

As someone now struggling with keeping my prose simple and fluent, I can only say that I regret that the primary curriculum left so much to the secondary.

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Honest About the Body

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At the Guardian, Sarah Hughes profiles young adult author Louise O’Neill, whose novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It have received acclaim for embracing “dark themes” surrounding body image, sex, and social media:

When I wrote Only Ever Yours it was at a time when I was so sick and tired of feeling shame around my body and so weary of fighting the fact that women are seen as less in so many ways.

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A Year Of Only Women

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Men need not submit to small press And Other Stories this year, as the independent publisher plans on only printing women in 2018, reports the Guardian. And Other Stories prints 10 to 12 books a year. The decision was made in response to the revelation that less than 40% of Booker Prize submissions are written by women, and many fewer are about women, and a challenge issued by novelist Kamila Shamsie to make 2018 the year of publishing women.

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Mystery Maven Memoirs

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In the wake of the destruction of precious cultural artifacts during the unrest in Iran and Syria, a quiet memoir from the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie, remembers the landscape and archeological legacy. The autobiographical Come, Tell Me How You Live never technically went out of print, but HarperCollins will re-release the book in time for Ms.

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Travelling Without Moving

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In the finished novel, this journey will take up four sentences. My virtual mapping of the route will have almost no discernible impact on the prose that I’ve already sketched out – as adjectives go, “nondescript” doesn’t paint much of a picture – and, once again, what I justify as research might just as easily be dismissed as the writer’s tendency to arse around.

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The Rise of the Mega-Novel

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Serial novels are nothing new, especially in genre fiction designed to keep readers shelling out money for the next phase of a story. But the sudden, rapid success of fantasy genre series like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and the adaptation of Tolkien’s hobbit epics to the big screen has meant publishers want to cash in on the double-XL titles.

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Before Twain Was Twain

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Newspaper journalist Samuel Clemens would eventually go on to become novelist Mark Twain. But, Samuel Clemens was something of a story writer too. At the Guardian, Nicky Woolf reports that a scholar at the University of California has discovered and authenticated letters stories written by Twain while he still worked at the San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle.

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